NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 7 (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (23-15) at Washington Wizards (8-29), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will try to get back on track when they resume a three-game road trip this evening against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center.
Bryant had scored 30-plus points during a three-game winning streak, averaging 34.0 ppg in that span, until the Detroit Pistons held him in check Tuesday in an 88-85 overtime win at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Bryant scored just nine points in the first half and finished with 22 on the night for the Lakers, who had won three in a row and eight of 10 games.
Andrew Bynum netted 30 points and grabbed 14 boards, while Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 boards for the Lakers, who were able to force overtime thanks to Bryant's fadeaway jumper at the buzzer. Bryant has been wearing a protective mask after suffering a broken nose and a concussion during the All-Star game Feb. 26.
"We knew we didn't pass the ball, we didn't move bodies, we get stagnant and it cost us every night," Bynum said of the loss. "We move the ball to the open man and everything will work itself out."
The Lakers are 6-13 on the road and will close out the trek at Minnesota on Friday. They are currently tied with the Clippers for first place in the Pacific Division.
Washington will continue a five-game homestand Wednesday and fell to 1-2 on the residency following Monday's 120-100 setback to the Golden State Warriors.
Nick Young paced the Wizards with 25 points, while John Wall finished with 20 points and 14 assists. JaVale McGee ended with 10 points and 10 boards and Trevor Booker chipped in 14 points for the Wizards, who have dropped seven of their last eight games and dropped to 5-15 in D.C.
"We have a team coming in that's on the end of a road trip and on a back-to- back, and we just didn't have the effort to start the game," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of the Warriors. "It's inexcusable, and that's on me."
The Wizards will wrap up the homestand versus Portland on Saturday and are playing the Lakers for the first time since being swept in a home-and-home set a season ago. Los Angeles has won nine in a row in this series and five straight trips to the nation's capital.
03/07 10:35:59 ET